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Weekly question: What do you do when you see a lost dog?

Vee DeOllos-Hudson had a good question: What do you do when you see that a dog might have run away, escaped from his owner’s home or is a stray?

When I see a loose dog, I usually don’t do anything at all. It sounds bad, but there are a lot of dogs wandering around in my area. So many people don’t leash their dogs; they just let them be loose.

If the dog is obviously scared and lost, then I might try to get her to come to me so I can see if she is wearing ID tags. If the dog appears to be aggressive or in danger, that’s when it is a good idea to call animal control. But if the dog has tags, I’d just call the owner myself.

Unfortunately a lot of lost dogs don’t have tags. In this case, I would bring the dog to the pound or call animal control to pick it up. Once a dog is at the pound in Fargo, she has three business days to be claimed by her owner. Other cities might allow more time, but here it’s only three days.

It’s not really a surprise that a high number of impounded dogs are never reunited with their owners. If I brought a lost dog to the pound, I would probably already be emotionally attached to her and would be calling every day to see if she found her owner. Then I would most likely adopt her temporarily until a shelter had room. It’s costly to “bail” a dog out of the pound, though. Even if it’s your own dog, you have to pay a fee, plus boarding for each day the dog stayed there.

Animal shelters will often take in the most adoptable dogs from the pound, but shelters have limited space and can only do so much.

What do you do when you see a lost dog? What is the best thing to do?

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Rusty

Wednesday 17th of September 2008

I used to be a lost doggy, and a nice family tried to find my owner, then kept me for their own when nobody came for me.

Rattitude

Wednesday 17th of September 2008

When we see a dog we can tell has just gotten away from home (look fat and healthy or has a collar and name tag on) we try to get it to come to us. We got a pair of lovely golden retreivers back to their owner that way.

We also ended up with Rusty that way since he had no collar and no owner came forth to claim him.

Biggie-Z

Tuesday 16th of September 2008

We've never had to deal with this in NYC, because ANY dog off lead has got to be a lost dog, but that also makes the decision easy - any unleashed dog, if it's not being aggressive, we'd try to get into a contained location and then try to find a no-kill shelter if we couldn't track down its owner. But #1 priority would be to get it off the street before it gets hit by a car.

P.S. Left you an award on my blog.

Biggie-Zs last blog post..Out-of-Doghouse Auto-Reply: Update on Issues

Leanne

Tuesday 16th of September 2008

Hmm, tough call!

We're quite lucky as we know most of the dog owners on our street and adjoining estate so we can identify most of the dogs pretty quickly and know if they need catching or are likely to look lost when really they're just playing independent -- one JRT likes to take himself home from a walk and leave his owner up in the woods! It's also a very quiet area so there isn't a lot of danger from road traffic.

If we did find one, we'd take it in and keep it with us I think, providing it got on with all our dogs. We have dog food, spare leads/collars, a crate and bedding etc so it wouldn't be a problem until the owner or a new home was found. If it didn't get on with our dogs, we'd probably send it to the rescue centre we do a lot of work for, as we know the owner and would be certain it would get a loving spot there.

You can usually spot a lost dog by it's behaviour, they tend to be running erratically or looking for someone. A dog trotting purposefully along the pavement and ignoring you probably knows where he's heading.

Tammy

Tuesday 16th of September 2008

I think it depends on the situation for me. We don't see many dogs wandering around loose near us. I have called our humane society several times on a dog that I know escapes from his yard. He is not friendly and his humans are never home.

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